With these easy steps and tips, seniors can feel confident and safe while living at home.
Did you know June is National Safety Month? Now’s the perfect time to be thinking about safety in your home—it’s not as tough as it might sound! It’s all about awareness and taking some simple steps to make sure you’re living safely for years to come. Let’s take a look at some great precautions and steps to take to help seniors stay healthy, happy, and independent in their own homes.
Here’s How to Stay on Your Feet with Confidence
While it’s certainly nothing to be alarmed about, it’s true that seniors fall the most in and around their homes. But there are some simple steps you can take to help make sure you stay upright and mobile.
Touch Base with Your Doctor
One easy thing you can to help boost your fall safety is talk to your doctor. You may want to have them review your medications regularly to ensure you don’t experience side effects like balance issues, light-headedness, dizziness, or drowsiness. Also check for a vitamin D deficiency, which could contribute to a fall. Be sure to have your vision checked regularly, and wear proper, well-fitting footwear.
Another thing to think about is walking aids. Although you may not love the idea of using a cane or walker, they can make a big difference in helping you stand and walk with confidence. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or specialist if a walking aid might be a good thing for you.
Take a Look at Your Home Environment
There are a ton of easy steps you can take to make your home environment safer and easier to move around in. Here are a few ideas:
- Keep clutter to a minimum. It’s great to have clear walkways with plenty of space between furniture.
- Install solid rails and grab-bars. It’s not just for the stairs! Look at adding hand-holds to your bathrooms, kitchen, entryways, and more.
- Consider rugs, carpets, cords, thresholds, and more. Be sure to look at everything and anything that could lead to slips, trips, and unsure footing. Also consider non-slip flooring, rugs, steps, and more.
- Think about mobility-specific fixtures and appliances. From raised toilet seats to low-step bathtubs, accessible kitchen cabinets, and even motorized stair-climbers, there are tons of great products designed specifically with mobility and safety in mind.
Exercise & Stay Active
Be sure to walk and exercise regularly to maintain your strength, balance, and coordination. It’s easy to get more inactive as we age, but that could affect your mobility and possibly make a fall more likely. That’s yet another great reason why we should all be sure to stay active and exercise!
Don’t Forget the Little Things
Staying safe at home is something everyone should think about, so be sure to keep up with some of the little details that might be easy to miss.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Keep fresh batteries in your detectors, and test them regularly for peace-of-mind.
- Lights – Make sure you walkways and stairways are well-lit for good visibility to stay sure-footed and avoid tripping, and make sure you replace bulbs quickly when they burn out.
- Door locks – Confirm they work for safety, but take steps to ensure you don’t lock yourself in or out. You may also consider removing locks from inside doors to avoid these types of issues.
Get Help from a Pro
There are plenty of professionals who will come into your home and make specific recommendations for you. Think about finding a certified aging-in-place specialist like a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or geriatric care manager to remove the guesswork. They just might spot things you didn’t consider!
Another option for feeling safe in a home-like environment is specially designed senior apartments such as ours. Our Inspired Living communities are designed for safety but provide so much more – experience complete physical, mental, social, and spiritual wellness, while living your most inspired life.
AARP Make Your Home Safe for Your Aging Parents Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2017/home-safety-tips.html
Eldercare Locator (2018) Preventing Falls at Home Retrieved from https://www.n4a.org/files/PreventingFalls.pdf
National Safety Council (2018) Fall-prevention Measures Can Keep Older Adults Independent Retrieved from https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/safety-topics/older-adult-falls